First half concludes for series racing


Annapolis Yacht Club Wednesday Night Series racers and organizers took a break last week in the racing schedule to hand out awards for the 10-week First Half of the series, which began in late April and had ended the previous week.

In the final scores for the 120-plus-boat fleet, which sails in four PHRF divisions as well as classes for MORC, J/30s, Pearson 30s, J/22s, Catalina 27s, Alberg 30s, and Rainbows, a worst-race throwout was calculated for each boat.

In the 18-boat PHRF 2 division it was a big win by more than 10 points for past AYC commodore Sonny Smith and his crew on Uh Oh, topping out current AYC commodore Steve Hiltabidle and his team on Crescendo. Hiltabidle's team took two weeks off to compete in the Annapolis to Newport Race and win its class in that event, and had one of the two 19-point "did not compete" scores in the AYC series.

Rene Valliant and the women of her Wednesday Night team aboard Stingray topped out the MORC division by 5.25 points, seldom finishing worse than second any given week.

Another strong performance with similarly consistent results was put in by the team aboard Dave and Beth Scheidt's J/24 AJ in the 19-boat PHRF 3 class.

J/World Thursday Series

After seven weeks of racing between May 5 and June 22, the First Half of the J/World Annapolis Thursday Night Racing Series came to a close recently, after a hotly contested series of races for J/22s, J/24s and J/80s that frequently saw as many as 40 boats racing on an evening.

Close finishes on the multiple short courses were more the rule than the exception.

But by the time the series ended, victory in the J/24 class had gone to Peter Rich of Annapolis, winning by more than eight points over Mark Hillman in second.

Jim Hayes of Annapolis took the top of the heap in J/22s by nearly six points over Kevin Elion. In the new J/80 class, Brad Nordholm of Reston, Va., topped the fleet with strong finishes, including two firsts, two seconds, and two thirds.

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